South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 16

Unhlanga Rocks

Friday 28th March

After settling our tab this morning at the front desk, we said goodbye to Sodwana Bay and South Africa’s premier dive location. This was the first of many diving opportunities that we will encounter during our world tour and I can only hope that the remaining dive locations will just be as good to us.

The trip down the coast towards Durban was uneventful. I tried one of the in-roads for a part of the trip to avoid some of the tolls on the main N2 coast road, but only with limited success. As we drove, listening to the iPod playing our favourite music through the car stereo, a flood of emotion came over me. I can’t really explain why. We weren’t talking much (we rarely do in the car), and I had a chance to reflect on our experiences thus far. It occurred to me that I am only now starting to really understand Africa. Yet, at the same time, I know that we have only scratched the surface in terms of understanding its culture and environment. I’m starting to feel comfortable here. Africa is warm and friendly. I keep thinking of how we will think and feel when we are living back in Europe. Many of the experiences that we’ve had will be foreign to most people there. It may even be difficult for others to understand what we will have been through. Although we’ve only been here just over two weeks, I’m already starting to feel depressed about the fact that we will eventually leave. If this is the effect that just two weeks of travel is having on us already, then we are in for a truly life altering experience over the coming year and a half.

En route to Umhlanga (pronounced ‘Um-Shlanga’) Rocks, I called David a couple of times to get directions. We eventually arrived shortly after noon and were warmly greeted at the gate by David & his Niece. Glenis arrived shortly thereafter and we chatted over some cool, refreshments. Much as was the case with Wim & Helen in Kosmos, Dave & Glenis have a wonderful home situated in an idyllic setting. It truly is a paradise here and we have again been made very welcome. We chatted during the afternoon and into this evening about our travels and our experiences thus far. David cooked diner on the braai (BBQ) whilst we sat outside and talked largely of the Kruger National Park and about all the wildlife there and elsewhere in Africa. We showed off our photos on the laptop also.

Tomorrow, we may venture into Durban for a stroll along the beachfront promenade to look over the curio stalls. Perhaps we will even pick something up to send home as a memento.